Syrian opposition willing to attend Geneva talks

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The head of the Syrian National Coalition has said the group is ready to attend a proposed Geneva conference to end the civil war, if the talks aim to establish a transitional government.

The SNC, which consists mostly of exiled opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has hesitated over whether to attend the talks, which are sponsored by the United States and Russia.

In a letter to the U.N. Security Council dated Sept. 19, SNC President Ahmad Jarba said the coalition reaffirms its willingness to engage in a future Geneva Conference,” according to Reuters news agency.

But all parties must ... agree that the purpose of the conference will be the establishment of a transitional government with full executive powers,” as stipulated at the first round of international talks in Geneva last year.

The SNC has insisted that Assad remains out of any role in a transitional authority.

In the letter, the Syrian opposition leader called on the U.N. Security Council to make any resolution on al-Assad's chemical weapons subject toChapter 7 of the U.N. charter, which could authorize the use of force in case of non-compliance, reported Reuters.
The opposition and its Western and Arab allies blame Assad’s regime for the chemical weapons attack.

A report by U.N. inspectors has confirmed the the use of sarin gas in the Aug. 21 attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, adding that the chemical agent was carried by rockets.

(With Reuters)

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